The Wailin' Jennys, an acclaimed international folk trio, is bringing their national tour to Misericordia University on Monday, Feb. 19 in support of their first new album in six years – "Fifteen." The concert in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Wailin' Jennys are Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse, whose three distinct voices forge a unified folk-pop sound. The founding members have earned their place as one of today's most beloved folk groups and continue to create some of the most exciting and exquisite music on the folk-roots scene, stepping up their musical game with each critically-lauded recording and thrilling audiences with their renowned live performances.
"Fifteen,'' the trio's fourth studio album, was released in October and has received widespread acclaim. Elmore Magazine wrote, "It's been too long since the three of you have graced us with your presence,'' the review said, adding that all nine songs are covers of some of singers' favorite songs and are "graceful, lovingly rendered Americana.''
The new album features covers of Dolly Parton's optimistic "Light of a Clear Blue Morning,'' Paul Simon's classic "Loves Me Like a Rock,'' "Patty Griffin's "Not Alone,'' and a "wistful" version of Tom Petty's "Wildflowers," with a "light, lovely tangle of rustic bluegrass banjo and strings,'' according to Elmore Magazine's review.
The Wailin' Jennys named the new record, "Fifteen,'' in celebration of their years together. "We wanted to make our 15th year as a band,'' said Moody. "Arranging other people's songs has been something we've enjoyed doing since the beginning, so we thought that a covers album would be fun to do.
"We think the album has a live, real, moment-in-time kind of feel to it, and are so happy to be putting it out there for our fans,'' Moody added. "Some of the covers are songs we've had arranged for a while but haven't had the chance to record. The others were brought to the mix for this record. They are all songs that are close to our heart for one reason or another for that feel appropriate for the times.''
Misericordia University is holding two presales for the concert: Misericordia students can secure their free tickets beginning Monday, Nov. 27 with a valid student ID, while alumni, faculty and staff can purchase tickets starting Monday, Dec. 18. The public can purchase tickets beginning Monday, Jan. 15. Tickets are $30 for premium seating and $20 for general admission. To purchase tickets, please call the Misericordia University Box Office at (570) 674-6719 or go online at www.misericorida.edu/theartsandmore.
Red House Records released The Wailin' Jenny's first full-length album, "40 Days,'' in 2004. It received great critical acclaim in the U.S., and in 2005, it won them a Juno Award, a Canadian Grammy, for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. Bolstered by their frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor's public radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion,'' the trio exploded onto the roots music scene, performing at packed venues across the country and throughout the world.
The band's next album, "Firecracker,'' was a powerful follow-up to their debut album. It found The Jennys stepping out of the folk realm and into the world of alt-country, pop and rock. "Firecracker'' garnered much attention and was nominated for a Juno Award and won a 2007 Folk Alliance Award for Contemporary Release of the Year. It charted for more than 56 weeks on the Billboard charts and was followed up by their 2009 release, "Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House.'' The album spent more than a year on the Billboard bluegrass charts.
The Wailin' Jennys joined the ranks of Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris by recording their 2011 studio album, "Bright Morning Stars,'' with award-winning producer, Mark Howard, and co-produced by frequent Jennys collaborator and Juno Award-nominated David Travers-Smith.
Overall, the trio is an acoustic outfit, but they have a wide range of musical backgrounds. Moody, a classically trained vocalist and pianist, is a soprano and plays the guitar, accordion, banjo and bodhran drum. Mehta is a mezzo who is a self-taught musician and classically trained danger. She plays guitar, drums and ukulele. Masse, an alto, is a Jazz Voice graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. She plays the upright bass.
For more information about The Wailin' Jennys, please visit www.thewailinjennys.com.For more information about cultural events at Misericordia University, please call (570) 674-6400 or visit www.misericordia.edu/theartsandmore.